Health care comprises highly complex and enormously expensive services that have a significant impact on economies and the quality of daily life. In addition to social and economic consequences, health care is a field that continuously undergoes changes. The demographic shift in industrialized countries has lead to increased health care spending and a higher demand for care services threatening existing public health and welfare systems. Germany, for example, spent more than 250 billion Euro on healthcare in 2009 and costs are projected to increase by 70% by 2020.
The project Mobile Hybricare examines the situation of ALS patients. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, degenerative motor neuron disease which, on average, leads to death within three to five years after diagnosis. It is considered to be a rare neurological disorder and whose origins are at present still unknown. In 100,000 people, approximately 6 to 8 people suffer from ALS, and each year another two develop the disease. As both the lower and upper motor neurons degenerate, the disorder causes muscle weakness, and spasticity atrophy throughout the body. The consequences are indications of paralysis, amongst them disturbance in swallowing or chewing. According to current medical research, healing for ALS is unknown and inevitably leads to death. Therefore, actual treatments aim control symptoms of ALS or can be considered as palliative care.
There are two research streams in the project: Hybricare Nutrition Management and Hybricare Community. The objective of nutrition management is to improve communication and interaction processes in medical care to obtain a positive influence on quality of patients’ life and to realize cost savings. With this system design, we intend to provide an exemplary case that shows the potential of technology enabled health care processes. A modified patient-physician relationship, caused by improved patient information and autonomy, offers new possibilities for the design of novel medical services which are only made possible by modern technical support systems.
The objective of the community is the development, implementation and evaluation of community incorporating an open innovation concept that is tailored to the specific needs of patients. It is intended to improve communications between patients, physicians and care personnel and to foster interchange of ideas and to improve the sense of community amongst patients and relatives. Further, it will be evaluated how ideas for new products, services and business models originating from patients, physicians or care provider can be integrated into the innovation processes of care provider or hospitals. The goal of this integration effort is to improve the overall innovation potential as well as the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of patient treatment processes.
The outcomes are intended to be transferrable to other chronic diseases which encounter similar issues, such as multiple sclerosis or obesity.
The project is a typical design science and piloting project, incorporating the development, implementation and evaluation of full-working prototypes for both the nutrition management as well as the community. The prototypes will be piloted and tested in field studies. The findings of these field studies will be condensed and transferred to best practice guidelines for industry.
- Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Prof. Dr. Thomas Meyer)
- Chair for Information Systems (Prof. Dr. Jan Marco Leimeister) – Universität Kassel
- Chair for Information Systems (Prof. Dr. Helmut Krcmar) – TU München
Field and Transfer Partner:
- Fresenius Kabi
- Prof. Dr. Jan Marco Leimeister
- Andreas Prinz